The Future of the Indian Child Welfare Act


Nov. 7, 2022, 12pm to 1:30pm

Office/Remote Location

Room 105
Virtual via Zoom
Logos for the Center for Indian Law Policy and the UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law. Image of Native American artifact and textiles.


The Future of the Indian Child Welfare Act: Historical, Legal, and Practical Perspectives On Backeen V. Halland

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments this month in a far-reaching challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act, a federal law that strengthens Indian tribal control over foster care and adoption outcomes for their children, even when those children are in state foster care systems. It was passed in 1978 in response to more than a century of federal and state policies that separated generations of Indian children from their tribes and families, first through assimilationist boarding schools and later through targeted removal by state child welfare workers. Join us for a discussion of the history of Native child removal, how the law works, how it set the stage for innovations in tribal child welfare law and policy, what the arguments are, and what the case could mean for Indian children, tribes, and the field of federal Indian law.


  • Prof. Margaret D. Jacobs (Charles Mach Professor of History; Director, Center for Great Plains at University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
  • Prof. Gregory Ablavsky (Marion Rice Kirkwood Professor of Law at Stanford Law School)
  • Prof. Bethany Berger (Wallace Stevens Professor of Law at UConn)

Admission Information

Registration is free and required to receive the Zoom link. Please register.

Contact Information

William S. Boyd School of Law
Debra Gorov

External Sponsor

William S. Boyd School of Law Indian Nations Gaming & Governance Program

UNLV American Indian Alliance

The Center for Indian Law and Policy at Seattle University School of Law